By Marybel Rodriguez

HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – The catchy song “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams, has certainly made its rounds on the radio soaring—and staying—at the top of the charts. Now the song is spreading some happiness in a hospital where the youngest of patients are being treated.

At Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital, Child Life Specialists whose job is to help bring happiness to patients and their families, used Pharrell’s song to aid them in doing just that.

The group shot a video to the tune of “Happy” with patients, doctors, and staff showcasing the work that Child Life Specialists do—dance, act silly, show compassion and love to those suffering from illnesses in the hospital.

“If they weren’t here,” said Stephanie Schrifer, a patient at the hospital, about the specialists, “it’s kind of like taking away the little piece of normalcy you that you have in a hospital. That normal and fun-something you don’t get to do when you’re stuck here.”

At a place where happiness is a more difficult to come upon, the group of Child Life Specialists aim to do just that—bring joy to the patients’ lives.

“It’s really a big distraction. Sometimes you just need to forget about the chemo running through your body and think about a cookie,” said Stephanie. “They make a big difference.”

The specialists not only make a difference in the patients’ lives, but they also help some of the parents of the patients.

“They take the attention away from me and I can actually cry inside and he won’t notice how upset I am because they are playing with him, signing songs—and he’s happy,” said Laura Pita, a mom whose child Josh has been at the hospital.

On the day Josh is ready to go home, the group gathers around his bed to sing a song, bidding him farewell.

“Back your bags you’re out the door cause no more chemo anymore!” the group sings with cheer in unison.

“We love this field and we will talk about it to anyone who wants to hear about it. It really makes a difference in making the hospital a fun place for children,” said Christina Becker, Child Life Specialist.


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